Possible UFO BS Alert! NBC Dateline, Sunday Night 7 pm
Posted: 16 May 2008 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Since I haven’t seen it, I won’t say it will be complete BS, but having seen the promo on Today which treated the Hudson Valley UFOs (planes in formation pulling a hoax) as if it wasn’t completely debunked (they gave the last word to a witness who said skeptics don’t know what they’re talking about) I have grave misgivings.
Combined with recent shameless stories on NBC about UFOs, the Shroud of Turin and exorcism, this could be ugly.
Why it’s okay for Networks to broadcast blatant lies is beyond me. Sometimes there aren’t two sides, just the truth and the falsehoods. But that discussion is for another thread.
Anyway a response from CSI may be in order. We will have to wait and see.

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Posted: 20 May 2008 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I tivo’d this and watched it. To the best of their ability, I think they tried to give both sides of the story, but that’s the problem with these types of presentations. To the public it will look like there are two equally convincing explanations.  I don’t think it helped that some of the skeptics tried to give concrete answers to some of the sightings when there was not enough data to allow a credible explanation. Some of the answers they came up with looked a bit strained. They should have simply said there is most likely a rational explanation but no definitive conclusion can be drawn because the information available is incomplete and of poor quality.

The show also makes the mistake that lots of non-scientists make. They imply that if a concrete scientific explanation can not be made then almost any explanation no matter how crazy is reasonable, and given the same weight as a more earthly but unidentified explanation.. They imply that if something is unidentified it is therefor alien. The term UFO is NOT synonymous with an alien space ship as some of the “expert witnesses” imply. It only means the object was not identified.

If I create an experiment such that we put observers in a situation where the lighting is poor, and place a few standard man made objects in the sky far enough away to make size, speed, and distance difficult to estimate and then ask them to tell me what they are seeing they would most likely not be able to do so 100% of the time. That doesn’t mean they have seen aliens or something magical simply becuase they couldn’t place a firm identification on some of the objects.

UFO’s are to the gullible in our society what lightning and volcanic erruptions were to our ancient ancestors - a phenomena they weren’t able to explain so they blamed it on some omnipotent being. Those ancient myths gave us some great literature, but didn’t add anything to our understanding of the phenomena, and probably delayed a better understanding of the world around us.

[ Edited: 20 May 2008 07:20 AM by macgyver ]
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